Sunday, September 18, 2011

New School year

Finally school year 2010-2011 let out for this family!  After a year of so many changes and then interruption after interruption in our school year, it just felt great to be done! 

 When we left the island in February unexpectedly we had to leave behind all of our school books.  We then spent time in Puerto Princesa with family and friends.  Took a two week trip to Manila to finish up our visas and spend more time with family and friends.  Then back to Puerto and a move to a new house.  We loved the vacation away from school and of course, we loved spending time with everyone...wouldn’t trade that for all the school time in the world.  But amazingly it was two months before the kids were reunited with their long lost books!  Now it was mid-April and we were only halfway through our school year!  We sure had a lot of ground to cover.

Lada provided us the perfect place to accomplish that task.  No interruptions and plenty of time to complete assignments.  So from mid-April until the end of August the kids worked hard on completing their school year...and now we can say with much excitement, “We have finished the task set before us and have done well!”  Such a good feeling!

Needless to say though, that didn’t give us much of a break before the next school year had to begin.  In May I spent many hours on-line ordering curriculum for the coming school year.  I had it all sent to my mom in Alaska who packed it all up for us in three large boxes to be sent by slow boat to the Philippines.  It takes two months for these boxes to reach us, but for a set price the rather large boxes can be as heavy as you can manage.  So they get full of school books and various other treasures from family and friends at home.  My mom sent the boxes in June and sure enough by the end of August they arrived!  So much excitement for boxes full of school books!

Ann Marie and I sorted books and organized binders to get ready for the next school year.  And then we were off and running!   School year 2011-2012 has officially begun for the Veldstra family...

Ann Marie is a Senior this year!  A sense of accomplishment is such a great feeling!  She told me that in Sierra Leone she never dreamed she would ever have the opportunity to graduate from high school!

Ethan is in 10th grade and realizing the challenges of High school!  So much school work and not near enough free time, but he works hard to get it all done.

Tyler is now a teenager and in Junior High!  Pre-Algebra and a Drafting class are among his favorites! 

Kailee is in 5th grade.  She is a voracious reader and loves to try out new words all the time!

Alyssum is in 4th grade and loves her new Language Arts book this year! 
Adams is in 2nd grade and has become quite the good reader and story writer.  He has such a great imagination!

Our house is always so busy with plenty of learning through books and life experiences!

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Visit from Home

Hard to believe it has been over a month ago since Pastor Jonathan came to visit us.  He surprised Steve one day with a text asking if we had plans for the following week and then asked if he could come on over for a short visit.  Steve at first said, "Sure, we would love to have you!", and then, "Are you serious?"  Knowing Jonathan we knew he was serious!  So we excitedly made plans to meet him in Puerto Princesa and spend our time there with him.

We met him at the airport Wednesday afternoon  and spent a few relaxing days at a hotel.  The hotel has a wonderful pool which the kids spent many hours enjoying!
We really enjoyed Jonathan’s good to talk and laugh with someone from home.  Being able to talk face to face is so valuable.  We have been so discouraged the last few months and lonely that we had kind of lost the right perspective.  It was time to find it again!

We stayed at a nice hotel in Puerto Princesa and felt really spoiled!  What a treat!  It was certainly a great place to relax and be refreshed!  Also, someone paid for all of us to get a few new clothes, so we spent a morning shopping for everyone.  The kids had so much fun picking out new things!  Ethan and Tyler had a great time with Jonathan and getting his opinion!  
We are so thankful for the time he spent with all of us!